Thursday, January 31, 2013

For Ruth

I took advantage of the snow days last weekend and finished the Crochet Fusion blanket I started in December.

There isn't much about this project that I didn't love. The colors. The fabric. The cotton yarn. It was all such a joy to stitch together.

I wasn't sure who would have this blanket when I started. I just knew it needed to be made.

Early in the morning on December 12, 2012 I woke up thinking about my sister-in-law, who was due to give birth any day. She was so heavily set upon my heart, I got out of bed to pray. Several hours later, I got the call that my sweet niece was born and all was good and right. It was then that I knew, that this labor of love would (eventually) be wrapped around a little girl named Ruth.

I haven't had the privilege to hold or meet her yet... but Ruth, Auntie Kellie loves you so.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weather Pendulum

18 days ago. Shorts and Tshirts.

11 days ago

9 days ago. 

4 days ago.

The Mister sliding clear into the woods across the street.

Sliding down our hill on particle board (aka, the desert rat's sled)

Today the skies are dark, the air warm and humid; there is talk of tornados as evening comes.
By the weekend we will be back to parkas and mittens and hot beverages by the pot. 

I'm grateful for the tastes of spring in the midst of winter. 
Thankful for snow in dusty doses.
 Happy for ice that lasted long enough. 
Content today, even though the storms may come. 
For who knows what tomorrow may bring... Proverbs 27:1

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Shout of Joy from my Dining Room Table

"The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice and shout for joy."
Isaiah 35:1

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Weight Watchers: Week 2

I feel sort of silly writing about points and pounds today. There are many people in my life who are hurting: the loss of parents within days, young ones diagnosed with chronic diseases, prodigal children who have yet to come home, watching my own child struggle... and here I sit, writing about worldly things that add nothing of significance to this day. So I'm gonna keep it short...

This week was a tough one. With a heavy heart for friends and family, and a super busy week, I didn't quite stick to the plan. In the I hadn't lost or gained. So I press on.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Colors

Little Blue

Pink-ish morning. 

Grey afternoon.

A taste of spring on my table.

Colors of this day.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Candlelight and Coffee Cups

It's raining this morning, making the house dark. But we've  brought a few candles out for a breakfast treat. The Girl asked if I was going to photoshop the crumbs out. Nah... crumbs are a daily part of my life, so I'll keep them.

This is a crocus bulb I bought at the grocery for $1.99 on impulse two weeks ago. Every day it looks like it has grown by inches. Every morning I look forward to seeing how tall it has become.

This week, while waiting on my pre-algebra student to work out some math problems, I entertained  my self by catching steam.

This weekend is a big weekend for me. I am in charge of getting all the cookie orders entered and ordered for 70 Girl Scouts. I am not the best with numbers so I am throwing out the wing, and doing this job on a prayer and a prayer.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thursday Things

  The sun rose one morning and made the world sparkle for about fifteen minutes.

I loved all 900 seconds of it.

The kids took this photo. I was making lunch and Kona is always under my feet waiting for the next bite. Unfortunately, she has become portly in her old age. So I was trying to tell her that she can't have (as many) treats any more when I am in the kitchen... she's a little sad about that.

My poor children have become my daily subjects while I learn how to use the manual setting on my new camera. These portraits were my favorites this week.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Weight Watchers: Week 1

I have a British BFF, who once spoke truth in my life. "Kellie," she said, "the problem with chronically talented people is that so much comes very easily for them, so when hard things come, perhaps they give up too quickly."

She is right, of course. I think of her gentle words of truth often- usually when I'm about to give something up in frustration. That little bit of wisdom has helped me to teachable and learn new things. It has been the catalyst on many project to give it another go.

This week I thought about this nearly everyday.

The first two days were excellent, a WW honeymoon of sorts. The third day I was hungry. Sticking to 26 daily points (with 49 extra weekly points + activity points) was difficult if I didn't eat fruits and veg ('free' foods) between meals. I was trying to save those extra weekly points for the weekend.

However the weekend came and that conservative point control was to my benefit when I could have pizza AND ice cream with my family without being anxious about "messing up" the whole week.

Monday and Tuesday went well, mostly because weigh in was today.

So I'm down two.

And honestly, at first I was disappointed. But The Mister reminded me that this isn't a crash diet, this isn't a starve yourself for ten days with an unhealthy mind and harm to the body. This is a good start, and exactly what it should have been. Of course, I knew this, but old habits die hard.

So what have I learned this week?

- even twelve little pounds will take hard work, and when difficulties come, not to be so quick to think of giving up

- the flesh will cry out like a malnourished child, and often the best way to quiet her is with a cup of tea and lots of prayer.

- freedom doesn't come from restriction or excess, it comes from having a plan and following it through

On to Week 2!

*I don't know how many people still come to La Vida Dulce from my TrueCampaign and FindingBalance posts in the past, but I want to clarify a few things: I am writing about this part of my journey (using WW as a tool) in the interest of full disclosure. One of the many trademarks of food and body issues is keeping our weight gain/loss secret... thinking we can hide or handle these issues on our own. I know this is not true and want to be open and honest with those of you who have come here for encouragement in the past and still struggle. - kla

Monday, January 07, 2013

Weekend Craftiness

This weekend was a good rest after a fun holiday season, and before the craziness of school. The sun finally came out.

I spent most of Saturday in the office. It was actually tidy and clean. Left over organization from the previous weekend with our friends. I always LOVE working in my office, but it's really nice when everything is dusted, vacuumed and in its place. I should have taken a photo, cuz it won't stay that way long.

I spent the morning with my "brother" monogramming a few little things for new little people. When that was finished I tried to get my act together on a "fusion- crochet afghan/quilt" for my newest niece, born in early December. I'm nearly finished, I have only a few squares left to crochet and then it all gets stitched together.

I'm already trying to figure out what to do next... I'm feeling like something hearty, warm and earthy. I'm thinking a mix of wool in wintery colors of grey and blue. I'm not sure what... of course I could finish up the waffle stitch afghan I started two weeks before Christmas. It was made known to me that I don't often make things for The Boy, which is partly true. I am partial to making things girly and bright.

My progress has been limited due to a smashed ligament in my left middle finger. Unfortunately, it has not hindered my ability to do good laundry. (Bummer.) I am still wearing a splint on it. Life with only nine fingers is actually a lot more challenging than I thought it would be. I guess the Good Lord knew what he was doing when He gave us ten dutiful digits.

It isn't quite as colorful and swollen as it was three weeks ago, but it's still painful, and not very crochet friendly. Lucky for me, crochet isn't my only gig.

The one thing I didn't get to do this weekend was watch the premier of Downton Abbey. However, I love my PBS app, because now I can watch TV in the middle of the afternoon while folding laundry and sipping real British tea. Ah! the life of a an American housewife.

Friday, January 04, 2013

skeleton trees

A little reminder for me this week as I spent the last several overcast days pining for sunshine...

"To those with ears to hear and eyes to see, there will be very great release from unbearable burdens in the language of the autumn trees, for example, when they dress most gloriously in preparation for death..."

"Winter follows, when the snow closes everything in frozen silence. The trees then are skeletons, but wonders are being performed under the surface of things."

"Spring comes, and the hidden wonders burst out all at once - tiny shoots, swelling buds, touches of green and red where all seemed hopeless the day before."

"The yellow blossom of the gorge springing straight out of last year's thorn." 

"Plain lessons for us, if we'll open our eyes."
"If the leaves had not let go to fall and wither, if the tree had not consented to be a skeleton for many months, there would be no new life rising, no bud, no flower, no fruit, no seed, no new regeneration.
 ~Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity, pg 76

Thursday, January 03, 2013


Daisy eating apple treats.
Once a week The Girl and I head out to Bright Star Stables, a non-profit organization "giving riders with disabilities a place to learn to become effective and competitive equestrians." It's a pretty special place.

Each week we get to turn the horses out (taking them from the barn to pasture) and then we muck stalls and sweep floors. What we do there isn't much, but what we take away is immeasurable.


This week we talked of thirteenth-birthdays and dreams of the future. We debated which horse was our favorite ( I have a hard time pinning just one down.) We laughed at Cooper, who greats us happily each week, and later come to the barn and inspects each stall. We can't decide if he feels his "inspections" are rancher dog duty, or if it just gives him a reason to come and say 'hi.' Either way, we enjoy his visits. These mornings at Bright Star have opened up new ways for The Girl and I to communicate and serve and be together.

When we arrived this week, we were surprised by Daisy, a new horse who has come to rest at Bright Star... kind of like us. Yes, we're shoveling and sweeping, but we always leave refreshed. I don't know if its the country air, those sweet horses, or that we are learning something new, but I love every moment spent in that barn.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New Year Chatter


It's here. The reality of 2013. It was pretty hard to roll out of bed this cold and rainy morning knowing that this day brings the dreaded post holiday work-out and return to normal activities. Normally I'm pretty ready for routine, but this year it all went so fast.

I made very few resolutions, but blogging more often is one of them. My Christmas gift this year might help the cause.

The Mister bought it for me so I could have a hobby... since I don't have many of those. But I feel I have been given a new baby. I cannot wait to name her.

Since she arrived in the mail, I have been reading, searching, and watching all about f-stops, aperture, lighting and a lot of other numbers that make no sense at all. Everything is backwards and foreign, but I'm learning, and love it.

I've only had her for about 5 days, and already the people who live with me are poking fun. I think its quite amazing that all those little numbers and dials can take a photo like this: focus on the tea pot...

Compared to this one: focus on the cup and creamer.

It's AMAZING to me. Consider this post fair warning: your in for a lot of photo viewing from one very amateur picture taker.

The good news about this camera is that it will not only benefit our family photo album (and this blog) but it will lend to my health as well. When you are hefting a seven pound camera up to your face, your bound to gain some muscle.

Speaking of health... I've done something today that I am sure many people will do: I joined Weight Watchers. This year, for the first time in a long time, my weight management skillz have been lacking. I gained 12+ pounds. I decided to take advantage of the free sign-up over at WW and get rid of them before they multiply exponentially. Will keep you posted on how it goes!

The year wrapped up perfectly this year. Among positive answers to some big prayers here in the Little Yellow House on the Hill we had friends stay with us for the weekend. This was our second annual New Years Reunion and we had a blast. Its amazing to me that this family, who has really grown up with ours, continues to be such a blessing to us. All six kids get along well and genuinely enjoy each other. And the adults? Well, we were dreaming a little bit about future days when the New Year celebrations might be to vacation together in places beyond our four walls.  But I think talk like that was just to ease the squeeze of our hearts as we looked around table and gazed into the faces of children already grown. The truth is we like being all together. All ten of us.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013



and twelve.
Little seeds planted.
Moments and days both
sweetness and light;
mixed with
difficulty and sorrow:
in relationships
broken and mended;
in health,
lost and gained;
in words,
spoken and held.
At times
tucked under wing to rest, 
'til strong enough to fly.
My heart, 
a mixture of moments:
dripping with gratitude,
and heavy with concern...
Hard choices, led to joy.
Broken roads, led to hope.
Crusty heart, pushed to soften.
Forgiving others, being forgiven.
It did not unfold as I had planned,
    but as it should be...

He makes all things beautiful. 
He also set eternity in the human heart; 
yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.*

In all these,
little seeds, 
Gifts of
joy and sorrow, 
planted in season, 
will not lend 
certainty to tomorrow.
But will focus 
my heart,
my mind,
my eyes,
on Him 
who is not bound to this day.
He has a plan, 
and it is good.
This year He set
little seeds of eternity
in this 

May these seeds 
bring Him glory.

*Ecclesiastes 3:11